LATE KLJESTAN GOAL GIVES US VICTORY
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
2
United States vs El Salvador
Friendly - Wednesday February 24, 2010
Raymond James Stadium
1
The US Men's National Team kicked off their home stretch towards this summer's World Cup with a last minute 2-1 win against El Salvador at a cold and wet Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday night.

With weather conditions more befitting those the English Premiership, the US players were aggressive from the onset emerging from the locker room with an aggressive mindset that challenged El Salvadorian goalkeeper Miguel Montes.

In the 5th minute, the US produced its first serious challenge on Montes when Robbie Rogers' corner kick found the feet of Kyle Beckerman who slammed it high of the bar from 20 yards out. Three minutes later, the Central American net minder was pressed into action again when he stretched to barely deflect an attempt from Connor Casey.

Los Cuscatlecos, under the tutelage of new head coach Jose Luis Rugamas, produced their first serious goal scoring opportunity in the 20th minute as Marvin Gonzales and Juan Carlos Moscoso combined toward the US box, but were thwarted by US Captain Jonathan Bornstein and the American's only non-MLS player in the match Clarence Goodson. The IK Start man headed the ball out of danger from a Deris Umanzor cross.

The visitors continued to push forward and almost got on the scoreboard in the 28th minute as Osael Romero's shot from the top of the box sailed high and wide.

Forward Connor Casey showed in the final 15 minutes of the first half why he might be on Bradley's 23 man roster come this summer when he helped spearhead three separate scoring chances.

Fifteen minutes shy of halftime, Casey gathered in a pass down the left side and fed a pass to a streaking Sacha Kljestan who hammered a shot on goal only to see a well-positioned Montes come up with the save.

Just minutes later, Casey himself had a look at goal but his shot was rebuffed by Montes who then thwarted the rebound effort by Rogers at the near post.

In the 39th minute the Colorado Rapids man cleverly dodged three Salvadorian defenders and took a shot while entering the box, but the rebound was magically gifted to Kljestan who couldn't get it past the CD Aguila keeper.

Halftime saw Bradley make a couple changes with Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching replacing Casey up front and Eddie Gaven taking Brad Davis spot in the midfield.

The early stages of the second half saw the Red, White and Blue put together several decent chances but the match would take a drastic turn in the 59th minute when El Salvador grabbed the lead against the run of play.

Rudis Corrales took advantage of a lapse by defender Brad Evans down the left flank and rushed towards goal before slipping a shot past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando to give the Salvadorians the lead.

The Americans quickly set out to answer the shocking goal but efforts by Ching, Gaven and Goodson all went awry as the clock continued ticking.

The breakthrough for Bradley's squad finally arrived in the 74th minute when Pearce brought the ball in from the left and sent it into Ching, who scored the equalizer using his height, heading it in lower left, past Montes.

Boosted by the equalizing goal, the US came back to full form in an offensive rally, but their initial efforts didn't prevail.

Rogers took shot in the 78th minute that went just wide much to the dismay of Ching who was left begging for the ball at the far post. A minute later, Cunningham ran down another ball and served it to Ching who took a shot at it, but it was saved again by Montes.

The Columbus Crew man had another look at goal in the 81st minute when he played the ball back and forth with Ching leading into the box, but was unsuccessful with his shot, as it glanced off the crossbar.

The referee called four minutes of injury time, which seemed to give the US an extra offensive boost and it manifested itself in the 92 minute when Kljestan said he was able capitalize off of a lazy El Salvadorian defense to produce the game winner.

"They were playing with the ball a lot in the back tonight, I felt the guy had his head down and he wouldn't see me coming, he was blind sighted," Kljestan explained to YA following the match.

"I picked his pocket."

Kljestan and Ching combined for a textbook give and go resulting in the game winning goal.

"Ching played me a good ball back," Kljestan said crediting his teammate for setting him up for the winning shot.

The US was hungry for more goals and just before the whistle both Cunningham and Geoff Cameron tried to even further secure the US win, but neither resulted in any extra gain.

For Bradley, the match was one where he was able to extract some good things despite trailing a bulk of the second half.

"I thought there were a lot of positives and it was good on the whole," said a pleased Bradley after the match.

Bradley will reveal his roster for the USMNT's next match on Thursday. The US travel to Amsterdam, Holland to take on the Dutch on March 3rd.
dikranovich
Sunday February 28, 2010 12:19 am
marroquinho, maybe im misreading you, but the usa has already played slovakia and sweden, several times. the usa has also played egypt. then of course, usa is playing holland this wed. not to mention the usa will be playing czech republic and turkey in may. whats your point anyway?
Rico
Sunday February 28, 2010 12:04 am
Estuardo Marroquín

You realize that they probably played El Salvador because it wasn't an international date, and was thus one of the few teams who could field their most competitive team available. Having no clue who El Salvador's top 11 are, and not sure if this was the same team used in qualification. But El Salvador was a plucky team when we played them twice. With that being said they were the only option and not that bad a one to test some bubble players so relax, we got Netherlands this week and should be a solid test to see where we are at.
Estuardo Marroquín
Friday February 26, 2010 12:26 pm
The USsoccer needs to stop playing, and to start the real preparation.
Only one game to go? With Netherlands.

What do this game against El Salvador brings? (I am not saying their team is trash, I am saying it is like playing with my country Guatemala. The fact is that it is better to play with stronger teams. This teams are not qualified). At least it would´ve been more clever to play at Cuscatlan because being home and playng that bad it is a shame.

A real preparation according to the group I think it would be: Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, for Argelia. For Slovenia: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia.

For England: Netherlands, Scotland, France, Germany.

El Salvador doesn´t even have the characteristics of these teams.

Another fact is that Bradley had 4 years to watch players. Don´t you think that at this moment they should be already playing with the team they will take?
Jeff
Thursday February 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Pearce, get on the plane plz.

Rogers, we'll talk.

Everyone else, go home, nothing to see here.
Charlie G.
Thursday February 25, 2010 5:10 pm
First, in a match with all "B" team members, its pretty difficult to tell which player would add the most to the full team mix. The next match against the Netherlands will be more telling for the "fringe" players that are fortunate enough to be inlcuded. I don't think much was learned that we didn't suspect already - did anyone really think that Casey was a better asset than Ching? As for Kljestan, while there were a couple of bright spots, it was mostly inconsistent - what I saw was quite a few passes just kicked ahead with no apparent target. This goes for a few of the players, may be they were nervous, but there seemed to be a lack of confidence on the ball.
Jose
Thursday February 25, 2010 3:14 pm
First Hoyos is not a traitor,,second,, Bradley sucks,we have no good coach ,and the camps sucks as well,that's why the good players preferred to go to camps where countries take soccer serious and have coaches that they can learn the game,, Donovan or dempsey don't have a choice but if they would do have dual nationality and England call them to the national team ,,you think they will said no?,, knowing the coach that we have?? our US team is going back because of people like Ivan ,,they happy with little,, bring a good coach and change Gullati ,,and you see ours kids will stay here
Kyle
Thursday February 25, 2010 1:48 pm
Another dismal performance by the US. I don't know how Bradley could possibly be happy with the performance. Heath Pearce was about the only bright spot on our roster. The rest of the boys were obviously playing for the last few spots on the roster which lead to a total breakdown in any sort of team cohesion or cooperation and ultimately lead to an embarrassing performance on home soil. El Salvador ran a clinic on how to play a team far superior in skill, size, and strength with emphasis on the latter two. Luckily we have another team over in Europe, and the differences mirror the USMNT 's progress with the MLS' lack thereof. Perhaps it's to be expected but in no way does it justify such selfishness on the field. Glad Klejstan was able to hit 1 of 3 wide-open chances in the box. God knows no one else could.
Ivan Drago
Thursday February 25, 2010 1:19 pm
Hey ewm13 - What are you talking about? Castillo and Torres are both playing for active club teams and would not have been called in. Hoyos is a traitor and would rather play for Argentina - he has snubbed US U-20 call-ups several times. This was a C-team game to evaluate a the last 2-3 slots on the WCsquad. Get your facts straight, you may not like Bradley but he qualified us, landed a 2nd place finish at the Confederations Cup and has the bulk of his team locked down. Maybe you should go watch the Olympics and leave soccer to those who understand it.
ewm13
Thursday February 25, 2010 12:20 pm
what a croc lst night complete waste of a chance to see players in a pre world cup game bradley sucks, the most boring players you could select were there last night what about castillo torres and hoyos should have been selected for gods sake none of these players can play first team for estudiantes like this kid can being selected for u20 us team what a joke hes should be looked at for our national team. i cant stand watching this coach control our team hiddink should have been here gulati sucks no cojones. enough whining it is what it is wc coming soon, our guys will run non stop well maybe get out of the round and will wait another 4 years to see if we can compete with the big boys between that will beat everyone in our region great sounds like the last 12 years.
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